Saturday, 20 June 2015

Whether one spouse can get compensation for loss of consortium in case of temporary disablement of other spouse?

We may therefore, revisit the practice of awarding compensation under conventional heads: loss of consortium to the spouse, loss of love, care and guidance to children and funeral expenses. It may be noted that the sum of Rs. 2,500/- to Rs. 10,000/- in those heads was fixed several decades ago and having regard to inflation factor, the same needs to be increased. In Sarla Verma's case (supra), it was held that compensation for loss of consortium should be in the range of Rs. 5,000/- to Rs. 10,000/-, In legal parlance, 'consortium' is the right of the spouse to the company, care, help, comfort, guidance, society, solace, affection and sexual relations with his or her mate. That non-pecuniary head of damages has not been properly understood by our Courts. The loss of companionship, care and protection, etc., the spouse is entitled to get, has to be compensated appropriately. The concept of non-pecuniary damage for loss of consortium is one of the major heads of award of compensation in other parts of the world more particularly in the United States of America, Australia, etc. English Courts have also recognized the right of a spouse to get compensation even during the period of temporary disablement. By loss of consortium, the courts have made an attempt to compensate the loss of spouse's affection, comfort, solace, companionship, society, assistance, protection, care and sexual relations during the future years. Unlike the compensation awarded in other countries and other jurisdictions, since the legal heirs are otherwise adequately compensated for the pecuniary loss, it would not be proper to award a major amount under this head. Hence, we are of the view that it would only be just and reasonable that the courts award at least rupees one lakh for loss of consortium.” (Emphasis laid by this Court)
Supreme Court of India
Balram Prasad vs Kunal Saha & Ors on 24 October, 2013

Bench: Chandramauli Kr. Prasad, V. Gopala Gowda
Read whole judgment here; click here
Print Page

No comments:

Post a Comment